By Sara Hoffmann
The days are long, the weather is gorgeous, and school is out (or almost out, depending on where you live). It’s summertime! What better time than now to do a little leisure reading—either by yourself or with any kids you may have in your life.
If you do have a young person with whom to share a book, I have some recommendations. Both are ideal for five- to eight-year-olds, and both are an excellent way to kick off summer.
It’s Sunny Today by Kristin Sterling is a great introduction to sunny summer weather. It builds anticipation for sunny-day activities like swimming at the beach, building sandcastles, and playing at the park. Concepts such as photosynthesis and solar energy are also introduced. Sterling’s spare, rhythmic text is paired with fresh full-color photos of kids (see below) to create a picture-book-like presentation. It inspires readers to identify with and wonder about the children in the photos and to consider how the ways they spend sunny days are similar and different.
Are You Ready for Summer? by Sheila Anderson discusses summer activities, summer clothing, summer plant life, and more. This title is just as well suited for reading aloud as it is for researching a first report—and that, if you ask me, is a mark of outstanding primary-grades nonfiction. Library Media Connection gave this book a starred review, commending the “well-chosen words,” visual “rhythm” on the pages, and “excellent photographic illustrations” (see below).
When we think about sharing summer reads with kids, school and library nonfiction may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But with offerings as appealing as these two books, that just might change this summer!